, ,

ImageI received this book for Christmas, but just read it recently.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I haven’t read Mr. Trout’s studies of Stuart’s staff and horse artillery, but all have been highly recommended.  After reading this book, I have ordered them.

In After Gettysburg, Robert Trout provides the first comprehensive and detailed look at the activities of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia between the end of the Gettysburg campaign and the winter halt to campaigning for 1863.  Most books treat these activities with a few sentences between brief paragraphs on the Bristoe Station and Mine Run campaigns.  This is the first book to my knowledge to look at the actions from a campaign perspective.

Mr. Trout’s narrative skillfully blends primary and secondary sources to produce an engrossing tale.  This had not previously been a period of great interest to me, but I had a difficult time putting the book down.  I was very impressed by his ability to provide very detailed information consistently without bogging down his narrative with minutiae.  For those desiring more depth on the action as it unfolded, he provides very comprehensive endnotes that provide additional information and context in additional to source notations.

I was thrilled to at last see detailed maps of areas south of the Rappahannock, but had trouble following them at times.  This was partly an issue of transitioning between maps, and is likely a personal issue.  Certainly the 25 maps provide excellent opportunity for the reader to visualize the activities in the text.

Content aside, this is an absolutely beautiful book.  The publisher, Eagle Editions, Limited, produced a gem.  From cover art to page weight to binding it is a work of art.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the less publicized periods of the war and cavalry enthusiasts.  Given the author’s placing of context for the campaign, I think it could be enjoyed by anyone from a Civil War novice to a veteran researcher.